Posts

Showing posts from April, 2021

Pre-COVID Fiction: India Wins US-China War Imagined For 2034

Image
In a recently published fiction imagined for 2034 by former top US Admiral James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman,  China  and the United States go to war that ends in India's victory. The authors portray Indians as heroes whose statesmen-ship de-escalates World War III, negotiates peace and helps India emerge as the new global superpower. Patel, the Indian uncle of the Indian-American deputy national security advisor Sandeep Chowdhury tells him, "America’s hubris has finally gotten the better of its greatness." The authors imagine the United Nations headquarters moves from New York to Mumbai after the war. Had this book been written after watching thousands of Indian victims of COVID19 gasping for breath and dying daily on the streets of New Delhi, I think Ackerman and Stavridis would have conceived  and developed a completely different plot line for their novel.   2034 Book Cover Elliot Ackerman and James Stavridis, authors of "2034: A Novel of the Next World War"

First Generation Pakistani-Americans Divorce Rate is the Third Lowest in the United States

Image
Divorce rate among foreign-born Pakistani-Americans with children is the third lowest of all immigrants in the United States, according to research recently published by the US-based Institute of Family Studies. Foreign-born Indian-Americans' marriages tend to be the most stable, followed by those of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis living in America.  On the other end of the spectrum, the divorce rates among immigrants from Latin-America are the highest of all ethnic groups.    Immigrants Marriage Stability. Source: IFS Immigrants from Taiwan, Korea, China, and Japan, also have greater family stability than native-born Americans, as do immigrants from the Middle East and South America, according to the IFS report . Here’s the list of top 20 immigrant groups in the US leading in marriage stability:  1. India - 94%  2. Bangladesh - 90%  3. Pakistan - 87%  4. Taiwan - 86%  5. Korea - 85%  6. China - 84%  7. Japan - 83%  8. Poland - 80%  9. Iran - 78%  10. Canada - 78%  11. Ukraine - 77% 

Pakistan's Tech Exports Exceed $1.5 Billion in First 9 Months of Fiscal Year 2020-21

Image
Pakistan's technology exports are continuing their growth trajectory, soaring 44% in the first 9 months (July-March) of the current fiscal year 2020-21 to reach $1.512 billion. March 2021 saw record exports of $3.2 billion with goods worth $2.612 billion and services worth $564 million exported during the month.   Pakistan Exports July20-Mar21. Source: State Bank of Pakistan Tech exports accelerated 55% in the month of March 2021 to reach monthly record $213 million ,according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan. Pakistan's Monthly IT Exports. Source: Pakistonomy Information technology development depends mostly on available talent. Pakistan has seen significant increase in technology manpower since the massive expansion of higher education initiated by  Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman  and backed by huge increase in funding provided by President Pervez Musharraf's government.  Higher education in Pakistan has come a long way since its independence in 1947 when there was only

Is Biden Demanding Use of Pakistani Military Bases After Pullout From Afghanistan?

Image
When President Joseph R. Biden announced his decision to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, he said: "We will ask other countries in the region to support Afghanistan, especially Pakistan, as well as Russia, China, India and Turkey." Biden has also talked about the US reorganizing its counterterrorism capabilities in the region to be able to hit the target from “over the horizon.”  These discussions have triggered speculations about the Biden administration seeking access to military bases in Pakistan to target the Taliban after total US pullout from Afghanistan. Such speculations are strengthened by what Biden said in a Democratic Primary debate on September 12, 2019: "We can prevent the United States from being the victim of terror coming out of Afghanistan by providing airbases and insisting the Pakistanis provide bases for us”. There's even talk of possibly escalating US military operations in Afghanistan from bases in Pakistan.   Afghanistan-Pakistan-US Re

Income Inequality: Elite Capture in Pakistan

Image
A recent United Nations report on inequality reveals that the richest 1% in Pakistan take 9% of the national income.  A quick comparison with other South Asian nations shows that 9% income share for the top 1% in Pakistan is lower than 15.8% in Bangladesh and 21.4% in India. These inequalities result mainly from a phenomenon known as "elite capture" that allows a privileged few to take away a disproportionately large slice of public resources such as public funds and land for their benefit.  Share of Income of Richest 1% in South Asia Elite Capture: Elite capture, a global phenomenon,  is a form of corruption. It describes how public resources are exploited by a few privileged individuals and groups to the detriment of the larger population.  A recently published report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has found that the elite capture in Pakistan adds up to an estimated $17.4 billion - roughly 6% of the country's economy.  Pakistan's most privileged gr

2010-2020: Pakistan's Lost Decade

Image
Until 2010, Bangladesh was a laggard in South Asia region. Its per capita income was about half of Pakistan's. Now Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan as the Pakistani economy has suffered significant slow-down from the previous decade. In fact, the Pakistan economy grew at the slowest rate in South Asia as reflected in per capita incomes. However, the income inequality in Pakistan continues to be the lowest in South Asia.  Per Capita Income Growth in Pakistan Lags in South Asia. Source: World Bank Lower income inequality in Pakistan is reflected in its abysmal domestic savings and investment rate of  around 10% of GDP . It shows in Pakistan's lower economic growth rate compared to Bangladesh and India. The distribution of national income in a country is a key socioeconomic variable with broad economic and societal implications. Income inequality and wealth inequality are related because the flow of income determines savings and investments, which in turn determine GDP growth and

Cultural Psychologist Michele Gelfand on American and Pakistani Stereotypes

Image
Americans see Pakistanis as "aggressive and violent" while Pakistanis say Americans are "loose, immoral and arrogant", according to research study findings of American cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand. She told an interviewer that the American media portrayed Pakistanis as " big bad wolf ".  Gelfand is a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. She studies why different cultures accept different levels of rule-making.  Cultural Psychologist Michele Gelfand, Author of Rule Makers, Rule Breakers In an interview with  Kara Swisher of Recode , Gelfand said  Americans and Pakistanis  usually "meet in the media". In other words, their perceptions of each other are based on media stereotyping of the two nations. "Pakistanis think Americans are half naked all the time. They don’t just think we’re loose, they think we’re exceedingly loose", she said.  Gelfand found that Americans "don’t think about Pakistanis as playing s

Pakistani Academics Win Google Research Award For AI Paper on Machine Perception

Image
Dr. Mohsen Ali and Dr. Izza Aftab have won Google Research Scholar Award 2021, according to an announcement on Google AI Blog. Dr. Ali is an assistant professor of computer science at the Information Technology University (ITU) in Lahore, Pakistan while Dr. Aftab is an assistant professor of economics at the same university.  Google Research Award Recipients Professors Izza Aftab & Mohsen Ali. Source: Izza Aftab The Google Award is for a joint paper authored by the two  Pakistani professors . It is entitled "Is Economics From Afar Domain Generalizable?". This research deals with the challenges of assessing economic indicators through machine learning. The paper shows how such indicators for a region can be developed from satellite imagery and geo-spatial datasets as an alternative to the on-site collection of administrative data that is done annually or biennially. This data helps design policy interventions, and paints a geo-spatial picture of economic well-being in deve